Archive for December, 2010

To Serve Him Without Fear

December 10th, 2010    |    No Comments »

“When one is called by God, it is natural to feel nervous, or unworthy,” writes Archbishop Khajag Barsamian.  “But the Nativity story shows that when God calls us, such fears are immaterial.”

On Thursday, January 6, 2011, the Armenian Church will celebrate the Feast of the Nativity and Theophany of Our Lord Jesus Christ. In Armenian tradition, this feast day commemorates not only the birth of Christ, but also His baptism by John the Baptist. The latter is remembered through the “Blessing of Water” ceremony, which follows the Divine Liturgy on January 6.

Click here to read the Primate’s Christmas message.

The Nativity and the Adoration of the Magi (15th-century manuscript).

Commemorating December 7

December 7th, 2010    |    No Comments »

Today, as America observes the anniversary of Pearl Harbor, we remember the terrible loss of life inflicted by the surprise attack of Imperial Japan in 1941—and we also honor the indomitable spirit of determination and valor that emerged as a result, leading America into World War Two and eventual victory over the Axis powers.

For Armenians, the date December 7 has an additional, and sorrowful, resonance. For it was twenty-two years ago today that  Armenia was rocked by the earthquake of 1988.  None of us can ever forget that day, nor can we forget the moment we first heard the heart-sinking news of the catastrophe which left thousands upon thousands of our countrymen dead or injured.  May our merciful Lord remember them, and comfort all those who survived those painful days.

As in the case of Pearl Harbor, we should also recall that it was not only the spectacle of death and destruction that made the earthquake the defining event for a generation of Armenians. In the homeland and throughout the diaspora, the aftermath of the earthquake roused a spirit of determination and resolve, of courage and compassion.  The nations of the world offered their humanitarian outreach and expertise to help a small country in a time of critical need.  These realities still inspire us, and touch our hearts, a generation later.  And let us not forget that good work in the same spirit continues in Armenia, to this very day.

In the Eastern Diocese, the Fund for Armenian Relief, a humanitarian organization established in the aftermath of the 1988 earthquake, today continues to serve the people in Armenia and Karabagh through its many development programs in the fields of medicine, education, and child protection, among others. To learn about FAR and its work, click here to visit the organization’s website.

Days after the 1988 earthquake, relief workers and local residents gather at the Church of the Holy Saviour in Gyumri, Armenia (photo courtesy of FAR).

2011 Calendar: Online Epilogue

December 1st, 2010    |    No Comments »

We are pleased to announce the publication of our 2011 calendar, which began arriving in homes last week.

Titled “Follow Me: In the Footsteps of Our Lord, Through the Holy Land,” the calendar guides readers on a journey through the milestones of Christ’s life and ministry—from the Holy Grotto in Bethlehem to the Jordan River, the Sea of Galilee, the Jerusalem countryside, the “Way of Sorrow,” Mount Tabor, and the Mount of Olives.

The calendar also provides a look at the centuries-old Armenian presence in Jerusalem. Photographs capturing the sacred rituals of the Armenian Church take readers to the heart of the Armenian Patriarchate of Jerusalem and its Sts. James Cathedral.

Lastly, the 2011 publication continues to build on the Diocese’s theme of “Vocations: The Call to Serve.” Excerpts from the gospels emphasize Christ’s call to walk in his footsteps and to take up pastoral ministry.

We hope the 2011 calendar will be an inspiration to you, and an encouragement to hear Christ’s call.

Of course, with just 12 pages of images, we were limited in the number of photographs we could feature in the calendar. To further explore the Holy Land through the lenses of our photographers—Arman Minasyan,  Garo D. Nalbandian, and Kevork Nalbandian—we invite you to visit our online photo gallery.

If you are not on our mailing list, please click here to subscribe. A copy of the 2011 calendar will be sent to you free of charge.